The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Spay and Neuter: Frequently Asked Questions

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Spay and Neuter: Frequently Asked Questions

Should my female have a litter before she is spayed?

No. Females dogs and should be spayed before the first heat which usually occurs at 5-6 months of age for dogs and 4 months of age for cats. We stress BEFORE, since a female can become pregnant at that age and she is in no way ready for it. Pregnancy will place a great strain on the system, often resulting in birth defects, and she may not be able to nurse, resulting in seriously malnourished offspring. In addition, early spaying prevents later problems, including mammary tumors, uterine infections, and uterine tumors. If a female is allowed to go through a heat before spaying, those problems may still arise later in life because estrogen is stored in the system as a result of the heat.


How old should my pet be before the surgery?

Pets as young as three months old can have the surgery with no ill effects. If females are spayed before their first heat (which usually occurs when they are four to six months old), breast cancer can be almost completely prevented. Younger pets also recover more quickly from the surgery and experience less pain following surgery than older pets. In short – the sooner the better.

  
Will my animal’s behavior be changed by surgery?

Behavior changes as a result of sterilization surgery are positive. Male cats reduce territorial spraying. Neutered animals fight less and do not wander in search of a mate.

  
Will my animal gain weight after this surgery?

Weight gain is more a product of exercise, nutrition and aging, not neutering.

  
Why neuter my male animal?

Males can impregnate many females, many times during the year. Neutered males experience a decreased risk to reproductive organ cancers.

  
Is the procedure painful?

Surgical sterilization is performed under general anesthesia by licensed doctor of veterinary medicine. The animal is asleep during the procedure, and may experience mild discomfort after surgery. Most animals feel well enough to return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours, but you must continue to limit their activity level for 10 days.


Can you spay an animal in heat or when pregnant?

Sterilization procedures are performed when the female dog or cat is in heat or pregnant. This procedure will terminate the pregnancy.  Client must be informed of the increased risk that lies in having an in-heat or pregnant animal spayed.  In the event of a late term pregnancy that requires the use of Euthasol for the fetus’s there will usually be an additional fee for the Euthasol drug.  In late term pregnancy or when in heat, the DVM on duty may deem it necessary to administer SQ fluids to compensate fluid loss during surgery.  There is an additional fee for the administration of SQ fluids.

  
My animal just gave birth, how long should she wait for surgery?

Females can be spayed 2 weeks after weaning her litter..  After spaying of a post-partum mother it is imperative that you separate the kittens from the mother until she is fully healed.

  
It is very cold (hot) outside, is it OK to do surgery?

The anesthetics used in the surgical process tend to disturb the animal’s natural ability to regulate body temperature. Animals must remain indoors for seven days after surgery, in a temperature-controlled environment suitable for their human companions. Clients bringing animals for surgery on days when the local temperature is predicated to drop below freezing, and who cannot keep the animal in the heated house, will be rescheduled.

  
Do cats need special litter boxes after surgery?

Male cats should use shredded newspaper instead of litter to 3 to 4 days after surgery. This helps prevent irritation to the surgical incisions from the clay litter dust particles.


What does the tattoo look like and where is it on my pet?

The tattoo is 1/2 to 1 inch long, straight line in green ink located right by the surgical incision. It will fade a little after the skin heals.

  
Can’t veterinarians tell if my pet is spayed or neutered without the tattoo?

Sometimes not. Of course this would only be an issue if your pet were lost or in a shelter without it’s medical history. With newer dissolvable suture materials, there are no stitches to feel in a female’s belly to indicate she was already spayed and if they have surgery at a young age, there is no scar to see. In male dogs, if you can’t see or feel a scar, there is a possibility that the dog still has testicles but they never dropped into the scrotal sac (cryptorchid). The doctor would open the male dog up like a spay to look for those testicles, a painful and unnecessary surgery that could have been prevented with a permanent identifying mark.


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